Kinda, Maybe on Step 1

It’s good to see that Governor Carcieri is standing by his budget, so far — although nothing’s really happened to it, yet. I do wish he’d be a bit more forceful about this:

“I hope we don’t need the stimulus money to plug the budget and if not, I’d like to see if there is some way — that is if our revenues don’t fall off the table further — that we could use some of that money to actually phase in tax cuts,” he said.
Among the changes he’d like to see if Rhode Island can afford it: Reductions in the state’s corporate and estate tax rates and in the sales tax rate, which he’d like to drop from the current 7 percent to 5 percent, without broadening the tax base to include services and goods such as haircuts, movies and auto repairs as lawmakers have suggested.

Such steps ought to be the centerpiece of an economic renewal package. If we don’t start to grow, plugging budget gaps will be an biannual tradition for years to come in Rhode Island.

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